Posts Tagged ‘Olney’

What Genre is it Anyway?

It’s funny, but sometimes it’s easier for me to communicate in writing, and especially when it comes to talking about my book. I know that one day I’ll need to be able to “pitch” the story in an effective and concise manner, and I think it’s going to take lots of practice for me. There’s plenty of time though, as first I need to get the book finished!

In the meantime, people ask me what type of book I’m writing and what genre, and I’m having a hard time deciding where Hope and Faith belongs. Here’s a list of the possibilities.

1. Historical Fiction – The novel is set in a particular place (Olney, IL) and at a specific time (late 1970’s/early 1980’s), which is supposedly enough to classify it in this genre. This is not a high possibility on my list though, as the story itself doesn’t emphasize any historic events or people.

2. Romance – This category is a large possibility as Hope and Faith is a story about the love and relationship between two characters. The ending of the story is still up in the air, and it may, or may not, have the “happy ending” so often required in this genre.

3. Inspirational Romance – A subgenre of Romance, Hope and Faith also contains a subdued Christian element.

4. Christian Fiction – Another possibility as it is through one character’s beliefs that she is able to overcome difficult obstacles and move on.

5. Young Adult – The main character in Hope and Faith is an adolescent. She grows up dealing with family dysfunction, which affects the choices she makes in her life, including marriage.

Hopefully this will help answer some of those questions about the story. Based on what you know of the novel, have I missed a potential genre?

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Why Olney?

When I wrote the discovery draft of this novel last November, I created a rural Illinois setting and was careful to select names that were nonexistent, or at least to my knowledge and a Google search. But in my mind as I wrote the story, I pictured real places. Like the church I visited as a little girl for Vacation Bible School, Joe’s Pizza – the original location (I believe it was on S. Whittle, but please correct me if I’m wrong), and the Borah Lake. Some of the places I imagined while writing were located in the nearby town of Flora where I finished High School. And in my mind, it was a mixture of these places as the setting all along.

So, I thought about it some more, and asked myself, Why not Olney?

Olney is a great place with a lot of character. For instance, what other city can boast white squirrels? Ok, so I’ve learned Olney is not the only city that lays claim to the white squirrel, but still, it’s unique. Then there’s the lakes – not one, not two, but three lakes in town offering up boating and swimming for summer fun. And how about mushroom hunting? Morel mushrooms are frequently found in the surrounding countryside in Spring. A delight to find, they’re even better to eat!

I could go on and on, but I won’t. Why Olney indeed! If only to match the picture in my mind to the words on the page and bring back fond memories of a place I once knew.

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